Vietnamââ‚¬â„¢s defense minister, during his ongoing visit to the United States, met Tuesday with a key US Senator who called ties between the two countries ââ‚¬Å“very important.ââ‚¬
General Phung Quang Thanh met with Democratic Senator Jim Webb, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, and was to meet with Senator John McCain, the Senate Armed Services Committeeââ‚¬â„¢s top Republican.
ââ‚¬Å“It is vitally important that the United States engage with Southeast Asia at all levels,ââ‚¬ Webb, a former Marine who served in the Vietnam war and visited Hanoi in August, said after his roughly 35-minute meeting.
ââ‚¬Å“I have worked for many years to build a bridge between Vietnam and the United States. It is a very important relationship,ââ‚¬ Webb said through a spokeswoman.
McCain is also a Vietnam war veteran who spent five and a half years as a prisoner after being shot down over Hanoi.
Vietnamese media have underlined that Thanh was just the second Vietnamese defense minister to visit the US since the two countries normalized relations in 1995, 20 years after the Vietnam War.